I’m just here to say it’s Tofugu, not tofugo
Seconding LingoDeer. It’s a fantastic learning tool for someone tight on time or unsure of which direction to take.
The review section needs a lot of work though. I recommend treating the lessons like a textbook-on-the-go, using them to learn new material and then finding some other means (kitsun.io, bunpro.jp, anki) to review it all efficiently.
I’ll also throw in a recommendation for LingoDeer, especially if you have limited time for studying Japanese. With LingoDeer, I am able to squeeze in some much needed grammar study while I take my breaks or lunch at work. I like to combine it with going for a walk
If you decide to try it, make sure to go into settings and switch it to “Japanese + Hiragana” to get rid of any romaji.
Also, I agree with @erie-canary, the review section is not very good. What I found to be more helpful is to use the “Test Out” sections to review concepts from the previous sections. I also like to change my settings to “Japanese” then go back and retake lessons I have already completed so I am forced to recall the readings for the kanji without having your eye drawn to the hiragana.
My issue with the review system is it lacks a true SRS, and it contains an excessive amount of example sentences. There are over 1,000 sentences in the Japanese I course. That sounds great, and it is, for learning. But when you’re 45 chapters deep into the program and you want to keep everything you previously learned fresh while continuing to move forward, your review session doesn’t need 6 examples of the same grammar point.
I have anki decks for both LingoDeer’s grammar and vocab if anyone is interested, though my custom style of anki card may or may not be to your liking … it’s a starting point. They are carefully tagged by chapter so you can sort everything and review efficiently, true SRS style, as you make your way through the app’s course. The grammar deck contains just over 300 sentences, trimmed way down from the review section’s initial 1,000+. The vocab list is complete, but also cross-tagged with Genki chapter numbers, and I can make a deck that has all Genki I+LingoDeer I vocab if desired. (Neither has audio, they were specifically meant for reviewing of familiar material and I mostly study in silence at work …)
There are loads of great lessons on the internet. In 2015 I found an entire series of official lectures and lessons produced quite a long time ago by the Japan Foundation.
I found this link now: https://www.jpf.go.jp/e/project/japanese/education/
Also YouTube is full of free lessons. My favourite is JAPANESE AMMO WITH MISA) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBSyd8tXJoEJKIXfrwkPdbA
George from the “from zero” books has hundreds of teaching videos out there. Some based on his books but everyone who wants to can watch them for free. Start from Book 1 lessons and you will have teaching that will last you a couple of years!
Yeah, its wonderful and free. I didn’t mention it in my post, but maggiesensei helped me out a lot as well. Also free.
The important thing is that you like it. Here is the list I used to find what I should read when I was level 25 or so
I would prolly get to around level 45-50 then either stop entirely or move at a snails pace so that I could focus on reading and learning outside vocab rather than the vocab wanikani teaches. In terms of the very final content (last 10 levels), you won’t actually use most of that for a long time just because of the rarity of some of the words and kanji.
Of course, I was well aware of this which is why I started trying to learn from the core 10k, but I wanted the shiny gold :3. Overall though, not doing it would probably have put me a couple months ahead if I put the same work elsewhere.
I use https://www.audible.co.jp/. They even have a free audiobook when you sign up, so you can actually make multiple accounts if you want (like I did) and get multiple audiobooks so long as you have different cards.
Yeah I mean there are things I definitely wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole if I had to redo it all, but I’m not going to tell people they would be wrong to use them. I did learn something from every single thing on that list, it just wasn’t the fastest imo.
Hah thanks its the Hispanic in me
oh no!! Good luck on playing catch up!!
thanks for the advice and yeah… definitely no to romanji!!
Both of these statements are entirely fair and correct, I also really don’t like the review sections. If Duolingo had Lingodeer’s quality, or Lingodeer had Duolingos Review system, they’d be in business. Doing Lingodeer side-by-side with Bunpro is also a pretty good strategy, as you can learn the items in Lingodeer and then review them/get even more clarification with Bunpro. I didn’t do this, but only because I had already finished Lingodeer when Bunpro came out.
I don’t use Duolingo nor Lingodeer, but I’d be interested to hear more. What do you mean with Lingodeer’s quality? What do you like about Duolingo’s review system?
Indeed, too much ローマ字 and you might end up inserting random 'n’s where they shouldn’t be
The Lingodeer team handcrafts all of their example sentences within the app, while Duolingo (as I understand it) has an algorithm that essentially creates sentences using common words, so you’ll end up with nonsense like “The dog works at the hat store”, or my personal favorite from the French course way back when “I am an apple”. Because of this, the language used in Lingodeer tends to be a lot more natural and relevant. On top of this, Lingodeer has a section at the beginning of each bubble that explains the grammar to you, whereas Duolingo (mobile) just throws it at you and expects you to get it.
On the other hand, when you review in Lingodeer, you manually select various lessons and whatnot to review, and then it queues them up. This can result in massive stacks for review, and no real way to make sure you’re keeping up to speed on all points. Duolingo keeps track of what you have and haven’t reviewed lately, and how well you did on it. It creates a review session based on this, and allows for short and sweet review sessions. Obviously, you can do several sessions if you have the time, and it will continue to shake things up so you don’t overstudy one thing while never studying something else. But with their current issues (and there are plenty), this isn’t enough to really warrant using it in its current state.
Those introductions LingoDeer has at the beginning of each chapter are key. They are an adequate substitute for a textbook. DuoLingo is just “drag this here, now drag this here … did you figure out the grammar point you’re using? I hope so, because we’re not going to explain it.” In LingoDeer every chapter begins with an explanation of that chapter’s grammar and they don’t dumb it down for the “learn a language in 5 minutes a day” audience. Follow that with gamified lessons in small bites (usually one lesson = one grammar point), and you have a pretty good recipe for learning a language on the go. LingoDeer was great for me because while I have plenty of time to study it’s almost always in small bites and on the go, but I was still serious about learning whenever and wherever I could. I have since found time to sit down and read through Genki I just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything and was pleased to find that I already knew 95% of the book, sans some vocab.
It starts off pretty slow but hey that’s no different from any other method. We all need to これはペンです at the beginning of our journey whichever road we take.
I’m in the middle of level 13 right now and I am self-taught too. I waited until WK level 10 before I really dove into grammar. That being said I tried to start grammar earlier but I either had trouble with the vocab or I would lose interest. It was weird. I say all that to say, I feel as though my Japanese learning has really kicked into high gear.
LingoDeer is a great resource for learning vocab and grammar. I love the way the grammar for each section is summarized and off to the side next to the lessons. I recently started using Torii - SRS learning application for vocabulary. The default study mode is the 10k core from Anki which is great because I wanted to use Anki but I don’t do well with flashcards. Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese Grammar is an excellent resource. It is free on the website, but I bought a hard copy. It is very easy to digest. I used Bunpro a little while it was free and I really liked it. I think I would use it more now so I will invest in it soon. I have also started working through some graded readers. Someone posted a link with a website for a few free graded readers. I’ll link it here. They are free to read and you can download the PDF too.
For me, waiting until level 10 was a great idea. I can move through the grammar lessons much easier and quicker than when I tried before (which was probably around level 5 or 6).
Awesome. So you’re suggesting LingoDeer and then jump into Genki?
Awesome thank you @Pebblesrockz. I’m glad to know that I just have to be patient. So you waited until level 10 and then dove into LingoDeer?
@Sweetsamiii LingoDeer is a resource you could start using now. It begins at what I believe to be a reasonable starting point for grammar. Nothing too crazy. I started LingoDeer about level 5 or 6 but just didn’t stick with it. I’m still not doing it as regularly as I probably should but everytime I sit down to do a couple lessons, I learn sooooo much. Definitely turn off the romanji setting when you start though.